Dawki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Dawki, a quaint town in the heart of Meghalaya, is mesmerizing both in reel and real. Situated on the west of the Jaintia Hills, it also stands as India’s border with Bangladesh. I was also known for its lush green hills, crystal clear waters and ample fresh air. I once saw a photograph on the internet- a kayak suspended in the thin air above exquisitely clear, emerald-green waters. The shadow of the boat rippled on the riverbed. So clear was the water; one could count the pebbles. I always longed to be a part of that magical fantasyland. And here I am, travelling to Dawki.

Dawki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya

It was a bright sunny day, and I woke up around 6 am; we had an early start today. I had a quick bath, got dressed & had our breakfast. The drive was about 3hrs approx 85km from Cherrapunji. The movement was smooth; we took one halt for a cup of tea. 

Mawkdok Dympep Valley

There was a viewpoint downstairs from the highway near the tea stall called the Mawkdok Dympep Valley. The incredible view of ziplining across the valley and the cool breeze hitting my face felt good. The hide-and-seek of the clouds in the vast greenery of this valley looked ravishing. I watched the gorgeous landscape soaking in the green as I sipped my tea.

Dawki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya
Mawkdok Dympep Valley

Shnongpdeng- Umngot River

Later we drove to Dwaki, but we were actually in Shnongpdeng, a Village in Amlarem Block in Jaintia Hills, to see the crystal clear Umngot River. Shnongpdeng, pronounced –8 kilometres northwest of the border town of Dawki. We finally reached our destination; there were long car lines ahead of us. We walked out of the car & walked up to the association to book our boating, which cost us 800 INR per boat.

Dawki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya
Umngot River

As I walked down towards the river, I was stunned at the crystal clear water; it was translucent! No words can describe the sheer magnificence of the Umngot River. The emerald colour can be attributed because the water current at Shnongpdeng isn’t intense, and naturally occurring moss and algae are abundant on the riverbed. Another is that the surrounding mountainside is thickly forested, and the water mirrors the greenery. 

Dwaki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya
Dawki Tourism

I sat on the boat to enjoy a gentle ride through a stretch flanked by forests over the calm Umngot River. A rickety bridge spanning the Umngot river also sways dramatically if anyone walks fast across it or there is a strong wind! Known as the Dawki Suspension bridge, built by the British in 1932, hanging over the river, which calls for a photogenic capture. One has to cross the bridge to reach the main river point. Dawki also is a connecting point of two central hills: Jaintia Hills and Khasi Hills.

Dawki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya
The shore of the river

Kayaking, cliff jumping, snorkelling, and scuba diving are pioneer adventures offered on the Umngot River at Shnongpdeng? I opted for boating & it took about an hour to explore the available boating area. From the shore, the emerald Umngot makes its way towards Dawki and further into the flat plains of Bangladesh. Trekking in the woods around the Umngot River is also available. Cross the rickety bridge that spans the river, and you can find hiking trails. However, I suggest hiring a guide.

Dawki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya

Moreover, the river shared a distinctive shore with Bangladesh on one side. I did spot armies of both countries on duties on the coast to form a human chain of the division of borders. I was thrilled to observe people of two nationalities enjoying the same water in the same place.

Dwaki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya
Bridge Connecting hills

After enjoying my boat ride, I walked to my car and was disappointed to see numerous plastic and glass bottles, beer cans, wrappers, empty packets of chips, etc., littering the river bank. A responsible traveller should refrain from doing this- a little more awareness and sensitivity to the environment will keep these exquisite locales exquisite forever. Quite disappointing!


Dawki Integrated Check Post

We next drove to the Dawki border crossing on Dawki-Tamabil, an international trade route border. It will be a milestone in the India-Bangladesh relationship. It aims to generate employment opportunities and boost the economy of the State and the region.

Dawki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya
Border – Indi Bangladesh

The Government of Meghalaya has already handed over possession of 22 acres of land at Dawki. To facilitate bilateral trade between India-Bangladesh as well as for the movement of passengers across the border. 

No Man’s Land

I roamed and ran around the no man’s land; the BSF is friendly and liberal. After clicking some pictures, we started for Mawlynnong. The drive to Mawlynnong was 1hrs 15min approx 30Km from Dawki. On the way, we planned to visit scenic falls.

Dwaki: A less talked hidden jewel of Mehalaya
Friendship gate

Karng Suri Falls

Located in the tranquil ambience and charming beauty of the Jaintia hills, this place rejuvenates your soul. Though the way to reach this fall is tricky, as one board welcomes you, I have to ask the villagers for direction. The steps descend, and the temperature drops a few notches as the falls near. I was able to hear the waterfall in the foreground. The falls are blessed with a lush green picturesque surrounding and shimmering blue waters. It was an unforgettable view!

Karng Suri Fall

I stood watching the shimmering blue water, giving my mind a weird calmness. I was trying to recall the resemblance of the fall to another water body- Oh yes! Kawasan falls in Cebu. To my surprise, Krang Suri is lookalike right in front of me. I looked around and found small colourful boats docked alongside the river bank. If you can, go boating amidst this place’s dazzling greenery and breathtaking views. 

Boating Area

But since it was past 1 pm, my driver requested to retreat as we had another falls to visit before we drove to Mawlynnong.

By Air: 

The nearest airport to Guwahati is about 195 km from Dawki. You can book a cab outside the airport to reach Shillong. From Shillong, you need to change the cab for Dawki.

By Rail: 

Guwahati Junction railway station is well connected with most of the cities of India. Upon reaching, one can book a cab to Shillong; as from Shillong, a different cab has to be taken for Dawki.

 By Road:

Private cabs or shared taxis of Guwahati regularly ply to Shillong. One has to change the cab in Shillong to reach the destination in Meghalaya. You cannot drive since a private vehicle is not allowed.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »
error: Content is protected !!